Newegg hopes to make the grade with textbook sales

September 16, 2015 04:34 PM

With most schools in session, a top 20 online retailer is adding textbooks to its locker of online offerings geared toward students.

Electronics e-retailer Newegg Inc., No. 17 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, will sell textbooks for college and high school students online, partnering with more than 1,000 colleges initially.

 “Textbooks are pretty fundamental to the college student, and we wanted to offer a different solution that makes buying them more convenient and more economical,” Newegg North America chief operating officer James Wu says.

In July, Newegg attempted to woo the younger set by opening a student-only online store that offers college students special discounts and pricing options.

Newegg announced at that time that it also would offer students $20 off an annual Newegg Premier membership, a perk the retailer will continue as part of its latest initiative. Premier members get free shipping on purchases and returns, members-only deals and improved customer service.

“While it’s still early, we’re very pleased with the initial traffic and engagement generated by our new student store,” Wu says. Wu declined to specify how many college students have signed up for the discounted Premier membership offer, saying only “the response has been much stronger than expected.”

Newegg is stepping up efforts to reach students as other Top 500 retailers try to capture a greater share of the education industry. Inc. (No. 1 in the Top 500) has partnered with three schools: Purdue University, University of California-Davis and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to create online stores, and opened a physical Amazon@Purdue location in February.

In March, Barnes & Noble Inc. announced it was investing in online marketplace Flashnotes Inc. in an effort to boost sales to its Barnes & Noble College division. Barnes & Noble is No. 47 in the 2015 Internet Retailer Top 500. Barnes & Noble College is part of the retailer’s recently spun-off Barnes & Noble Education Inc.




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